- The Politics Of Being Friends With White People (Salon)
I had only begun to have white friends the year prior when I found myself newly “tracked” into the higher-achieving second grade class based on superior reading ability. Scattered into a predominantly white classroom among only a handful of black students left me desperately wanting to culturally fit in and sound like my peers, especially since the vast majority of black children I knew stayed concentrated in the “B” and “C” tracks. My awkward attempts to fit in resulted in me being teased mercilessly by my black peers, who from then on through the better part of high school both accused and found me guilty of “talking too proper,” “acting white” and, perhaps most egregious of all, “thinking I was white.”
- “Lee Daniels’ The Butler”: An Oscar-Worthy Historical Fable (Salon)
I’d be hard-pressed to describe “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” as a good movie. It’s programmatic, didactic and shamelessly melodramatic. (Danny Strong’s screenplay is best viewed as fictional, although it’s loosely based on the true story of longtime White House butler Eugene Allen, who died in 2010.) Characters constantly have expository conversations built around historical markers, from the murder of Emmett Till to the Voting Rights Act. Every time Cecil serves coffee in the Oval Office, he stumbles upon epoch-making moments: Dwight Eisenhower (Robin Williams) debating whether to send federal troops to desegregate the schools in Little Rock; Richard Nixon (John Cusack) plotting a black entrepreneurship program to undercut the Black Panthers; or Ronald Reagan (Alan Rickman) telling Republican senators he plans to defy Congress and veto sanctions against South Africa. Cecil and Louis, the warring father and son played by Whitaker and Oyelowo, might as well come with labels: Cecil is following in the footsteps of Booker T. Washington; Louis in those of W.E.B. Du Bois.
- 50 Years After the March On Washington: The Economic Impacts on Education (HuffPo Black Voices)
…one of the most troubling aspects of higher education inequality is its economic dimension. A recent paper by Demos found that African Americans are 15 percent more likely to incur debt when obtaining higher education and 15 percent more likely to carry more debt on average. As a consequence, higher education debt is disproportionately weakening African Americans’ retirement savings and household equity, key sources of wealth.
11:30 a.m.: Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained
As of Wednesday night there was some confusion as to whether Tarantino would be making it to this panel, but SDCC has advertised that the cast will be there, at least. Hall H.
12 p.m.: Shonen Jump Alpha
The weekly anime magazine brings in editor-in-chief Yoshihisa Heishi and others to talk about new titles and trends in the manga scene. Room 7AB.
1 p.m.: CBLDF: The Fight To Defend Manga
In 2010, Ryan Matheson was detained by Canadian customs and charged with importing child pornography after authorities went through the manga collection on his laptop. The charges against him were dropped after the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund took his case. Room 11AB.
1 p.m.: Northstar
Sure to be one of the more interesting panel offerings from Marvel, with the character getting married in the pages of Uncanny X-Men. And this is a great occasion, no doubt. Room 25ABC.
1:30 p.m.: 30th Anniversary of Love and Rockets
This 90-minute panel will give co-creators Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez, along with Fantagraphic Books co-publisher Gary Groth, more time to delve into the impact and the creative process behind their long-running indie classic. Room 24ABC.
2 p.m.: Spotlight on Morrie Turner
Nearly 50 years after its debut, Turner’s comic strip Wee Pals continues to be seen in more than 100 daily newspapers. Here Turner will share his story alongside host Keith Knight. Room 4.
5 p.m.: Comics of the African Diaspora
Focusing on “popular but obscure comic-book characters and creators,” the line-up here is interesting. Actress Robin Givens will moderate a panel consisting of Underworld co-creator Kevin Grevioux, Precious director Lee Daniels, Black Comix creator and co-author John Jennings, and Jennings’ collaborator Damian Duffy, who was his co-curator for Other Heroes: African American Comics Creators, Characters, and Archetypes, which began as an art exhibit at Jackson State University. Room 4.
by Latoya Peterson
Much is afoot in Hollywood.
According to Vulture, Mindy Kaling’s future on The Office is uncertain. Kaling is both talent and a writer-director; while she may remain in her onstage role, it is unclear whether she will continue to write for the show. In the meantime, Kaling is staying busy with other film roles, her book project (pictured above) and attempting to woo Rainn Wilson toward an Orson Wells biopic by promising blackface. (Joke explained here.)
HBO believes in Treme – it’s been renewed for a third season.
NBC has cancelled Outsourced and the Event. Since Undercovers was also cancelled, what does this mean for NBC’s “More Colorful” promotion? And how will this impact their perception of minority fronted shows?
Stacy Dash returns to the small screen in the Queen Latifah-produced romantic comedy scripted series Single Ladies. She is joined by Lisa Raye, and Charity Shea as the token white friend. Mixed Media Watch ahead: Shea’s character is in a relationship with a black man – and all is not what it seems.
by Latoya Peterson
The reality of popular culture was nothing new. The truth of the world landing on me daily, or hourly, was nothing I did not expect. But this book was a real slap in the face. It was like strolling through an antique mall, feeling good, liking the sunny day and then turning the corner to find a display of watermelon-eating, banjo-playing darkie carvings and a pyramid of Mammy cookie jars.
—Thelonious Monk Ellison (Percival Everett), Erasure
I knew that before I wrote a word on what I felt about Push and Precious, I was going to have a problem. One, my personal experience colors a lot of my perception of the novel and the movie. While Precious’ narrative is not close to mine (I’m way closer to Lola, from Oscar Wao) there were lots of notes of familiarity.
A few too many for comfort.
In discussions with the Racialicious crew, Thea and I actually got really close to parsing out why I feel so strongly about the work.
On the topic of African American lit…I am reading Don’t Erase Me right now by Carolyn Ferrell.
I guess it is supposed to be stories of black girls in the ghetto. The stories I’ve read so far are all about incest. So this trend is starting to bother me. Though I guess it could just be what I’m reading…
I wrote back:
It’s not really a trend if it happens a lot.
My sister and I were *not* molested by anyone growing up. That made us a rarity.
Carmen pointed out that works that do feature incest and black people (like The Color Purple, The Bluest Eye) do tend to get critical acclaim and recognition, and wondered why that was. I thought that the issue may be that white reviews, book publishers, etc, only know how to respond to black dysfunction, but that doesn’t erase the fact that so many of us go through this type of abuse.
Then Thea got all MFA on us, writing:
Just to clarify I didn’t mean that I thought sexual abuse was a trend. That would be a pretty awful thing to say. It’s more that I’m reading a deluge of books for an AfAm lit class that are about incest, or about black dysfunction in the inner city.
It’s distressing because while I don’t doubt for a second that this happens and that this is something that needs to be talked about and talked about until it stops happening, I am also quite sure that there is a lot more to being poor and black in the city than incest and family dysfunction. Continue reading